10/22/09

Winston - Kind of Tacky, Even for a Tobacco Company

Yes, the sixties were swinging. They swung hard (swang?). Still, this ad for Winston cigarettes... wow.
Really? A penis joke? Just like all innuendo, it's totally implied, but totally blatant at the same time. Granted, there's not that many ways to convince someone to buy cigarettes, so ideas for ads must be hard to come by.

What's the relationship between the two people? Does she know him? Are they dating? Married? He looks old enough to maybe be her father, which would make the wiener joke really creepy. Is there even a wiener joke? She sure looks as though she's comparing the cigarette favorably to the man's junk. Meanwhile, he's happy to shovel the walk for her. "Hi Honey! Look! I'm shoveling!" He can't see what she's doing with her hands, so he doesn't know she's humiliating him in front of a photographer, the photographer's assistant, the lighting guy, and reps from the the advertising company and R.J. Reynolds. To be sure, magazine readers almost never think this hard about ads, but you can bet that the ad execs though long and hard about it when they designed it.

It's interesting to think that this ad ran in 1962, only a few years into the sexual revolution. Just ten years earlier, you'd never have seen an ad like this, with a cheeky, even disrespectful woman so prominent.

So what's going on in this ad? No idea. Does it make me want to start smoking? Nope. But I kind of want to see what that girl does with the cigarette in a few minutes.

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